The more goal orientated we are, the less likely we are to achieve the results we desire.
The more we focus on a future outcome, the lower the probability that it will come to pass.
Why is this?
Because if we condition ourselves to always be striving toward some goal, then inevitably the goalposts will always be moving.
It's the journey/destination conundrum. When we are destination-oriented, we don't get as much joy from our progress along the way, because we are always looking ahead.
Yes, each time we hit some milepost we derive some fleeting satisfaction, but that is much less frequent, and less certain to even happen, than each step along the way.
But it's not just about joy or satisfaction, it's also about effectiveness.
Have you ever heard a halftime interview during a basketball game when one team is far behind?
The interviewer asks "How are you going to come back?"
The wise players always say the same thing: "We just gotta take it one possession at a time."
They know if they look too far ahead, they will defeat themselves. But if they fully live and own each possession, they will be more likely to achieve their ultimate goal.
Focusing on the current moment is a winning life strategy because not only is it more effective, but it's also less stressful, more joyful, and more sustainable.
We can't be in it for the goal. We have to be in it for it.
And paradoxically, when we reorient ourselves that way, we are more likely to achieve our goals.
HT: Andy Puddicombe